Should you match the pattern of your wallpaper to your couch? Experts weigh in on this growing trend

Discover if pattern matching the wallpaper and the couch gets designers’ approval or refusal

(Image credit: VERDE Interior Design; Future / Polly Wreford; Mindthegap)

Repeating patterns in a room might strike you as an approach to decor that’s had its time. But with maximalism a trend with plenty of adherents maybe you should match the pattern of your wallpaper to your couch to go bold.

Decorating with pattern can be scary if it’s not your natural inclination, but if you’re tempted to dabble, then the idea of matching the walls with a couch might be an appealing way to try out a bolder approach.

To find out if it’s a strategy that can be pulled off successfully, we asked interior designers to give us their verdicts on whether a wallpaper and couch pattern pairing works, and this is what they said.

Matching wallpaper and couch pattern: yes, no, or sometimes?

Pattern matching across a room is an interior design trend that can appear rigid in today’s interiors, where mixing patterns is more likely to be the rule

But what about making a statement by choosing the same motif for the wallpaper and the couch? Here’s the lowdown from the professionals.

Scale up – on the wall

living room with large tropical wallpaper mural and green velvet furnishings

(Image credit: Little Greene)

It’s a no to matching the pattern on the wallpaper and that on the couch from Alyson Lane of Current Home in Watermill, NY.

‘I tend to be a risk-taker when it comes to fashion, but I suggest homeowners leave pattern on pattern in the closet,’ she suggests.

But there’s still a way to use pattern on the walls and the couch. ‘I love using large-scale patterns on wallpaper and rich, tightly woven fabrics on sofas, with pillows and throws in small-scale patterns to enhance the design and add interest,’ she says.

Stick to a neutral sofa

Living room with floral wallpaper and neutral sofa, coffee table, side table and table lamp

(Image credit: Mindthegap)

Karen Tolchin of Current Home also cautions against matching, suggesting a more subtle couch design.

‘Designing your home is an incredibly personal journey. While some people believe there’s no such thing as too much pattern, I always suggest using patterns on the walls and keeping the sofa in a more neutral palette,’ she says.

‘This way, you can easily switch up the look with a quick change of your pillows.’

 Karen Tolchin and Alyson Lane
Karen Tolchin and Alyson Lane

Karen Tolchin and Alyson Lane are co-founders of Current Home, a destination for home design enthusiasts and interior designers alike. With a focus on curating meticulously handpicked selections of luxury accessories and tabletop accents, Current Home empowers customers to craft spaces that seamlessly blend beauty with functionality, reflecting their distinct style. 

Get the rhythm right

Green striped wallpaper with sofa with green striped cushion and cushions in stripes and plains

(Image credit: Colours of Arley)

Thoughtful repetition of pattern can bring great results, says interior designer Gaia Guidi Filippi of Gaia G Interiors.

‘Matching the patterns of your sofa and living room wallpaper can indeed create a stunning and cohesive look if executed correctly,’ she says. ‘Rhythm and repetition are fundamental principles of design, and using them can create harmony and cohesion in the room and really make it a “wow factor” space.

‘Here are a few tips I would suggest to attempt this look successfully,’ she adds. ‘Matching patterns between the wallpaper and couch can work exceptionally well in smaller spaces or areas where you want to create a “cocooning” feel, such as a small den or guest bedroom. This approach helps the room feel more intimate and cozy.

‘To prevent the space from feeling too busy, it’s important to manage the visual weight of the patterns proportionally to the room. So for example, a huge repeat in a tiny room won’t work well. Also, breaking up the pattern by incorporating solid color accessories. Consider adding solid color pillows, throws, or even an iconic piece of furniture in a classic shape to anchor the space. Solid window treatments can also help balance the look and prevent it from becoming too chaotic.

‘One of the most effective ways to use matching patterns is with stripes. Stripes offer a clean, rhythmic repetition that can unify the space without overwhelming it.

‘There are no strict rules about which patterns to match. The choice depends on the room’s overall vibe and the feelings you want to evoke. Whether it’s ikat, botanical, geometric, or any other pattern, the key is to ensure it complements the room's mood and style.’

Gaia Guidi Filippi
Gaia Guidi Filippi

Gaia Guidi Filippi is the owner and principal designer of Gaia G Interiors in Dallas, TX. She founded her interior design firm out of a love of combining her innate creativity, discerning eye and endless resourcefulness to help people create spaces they can’t stop looking at. Her creative process merges beauty and functionality, culminating in bespoke, design-forward yet welcoming spaces.

Complement instead

Living room with Cole & Son's Wisteria Botanica wallpaper

(Image credit: Future / Polly Wreford)

Visual overload could be an issue, says interior designer Natalie Meyer of CNC Home & Design.

‘If you try to match the pattern of your wallpaper exactly to the fabric of your couch or sofa, it could create too much busyness in your space, and not give your eyes a place to rest within the design,’ she cautions.

‘I recommend coordinating the wallpaper and sofa fabric through complementary colors in the same palette but balancing out the proportions through size and scale. For example, if your wallcovering has a large-scale print, such as florals, in shades of blues and greens, you could incorporate a sofa fabric in those same colors, but in a smaller scale print such as a herringbone pattern, to tie the pieces together while visually balancing out your space.’

Natalie Meyer
Natalie Meyer

Natalie Meyer, principal designer and CEO of CNC Home & Design, represents the next wave of luxury residential interior design. Her firm helps high-achieving professional families to create more welcoming, entertaining-friendly, and style-infused homes. With close to two decades of project management experience and a corporate business background, an organized and thorough approach is a hallmark of her projects.  

Balance cohesion and contrast

Living room with patterned wallpaper, patterned sofa and patterned rug, desk and chair in corner

(Image credit: Andrea Schumacher Interiors)

Andrea Schumacher of Andrea Schumacher Interiors is also an advocate of patterns that complement rather than match.

‘A well-designed space benefits from a balance between cohesion and contrast,’ she says. ‘As an example, imagine a bold geometric pattern of the couch that is set against a subtle, floral wallpaper. The wallpaper’s muted colors and delicate design do not compete with the vibrant upholstery but instead provide a gentle backdrop that highlights the couch’s bold pattern. The contrast creates a visually dynamic space where both the wallpaper and the couch can be appreciated for their unique contributions to the room’s overall aesthetic.

‘While it’s tempting to match patterns, it’s more effective to complement them. This approach ensures that each design element retains its unique charm while contributing to a harmonious and visually appealing space. By carefully selecting colors, patterns, and textures that complement rather than match, you create a living room that is both dynamic and inviting.’

Andrea Schumacher
Andrea Schumacher

Andrea Schumacher is the founder of Andrea Schumacher Interiors, based in Denver, Colorado, and Santa Barbara, California. The premier luxury interior design firm is celebrated for its expertise in full-scale home renovations, new construction projects, and the meticulous design of kitchens and bathrooms.

Make the wallpaper the star

Pink sofa with button back in front of bold patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: VERDE Interior Design)

Rather than pattern matching, let the wallpaper grab attention, recommends Luis Carmona, owner and lead designer at VERDE Interior Design.

‘When a room has wallpaper, more often than not, the wallpaper was selected to give the room some color, texture or dimension,’ he says. ‘The wallpaper tends to be the star of the space while light fixtures and furniture tend to complement the wallpaper, keeping it as the focal point in the room.

‘When choosing upholstery for a sofa, opt for a contrasting fabric that pulls out key shades in the wallpaper, but doesn’t compete with it. The abundance of pattern or color in a room can make the space appear chaotic and haphazard. Choosing to upholster your couch in a fabric like chenille, bouclé or velvet will still give the couch some texture while not overpowering the space. Solid colors or fabric with a very subtle pattern is recommended to enhance the wallpaper.

‘The key is to have your couch add a functional and tactile element to the space without it necessarily being the focal point of the room. If your couch is in need of further design elements, consider tufts or pleats to give it visual interest.’

Patterned wallpaper can be the perfect choice to fill a large living room wall beautifully, leaving the option to repeat its motif in pillows or color in upholstery for a balanced look. Alternatively, for a bohemian living room, choose pattern on the walls and the couch. And get the seating choice right by avoiding the common couch-buying mistakes.

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.